Red tide is a harmful algae bloom which consists of higher than normal amounts of microscopic algae causing the ocean waters to look red, brown and sometimes yellow. Although red tide is not a predictable phenomenon, it usually occurs in the Gulf of Mexico every year and typically in the late summer to early fall. Red tide can be deadly to marine life and birds and can also be harmful to humans.
When there is a rapid growth of this microscopic algae, it can produce high concentration amounts of an organism which produces toxins and in turn acts as a poison which ends up killing fish, birds and other marine life. These toxins usually last a week or two but can sometimes last months. When we come in contact with red tide it can cause eye irritation, respiratory irritation and similar symptoms of having a cold. People who have asthma are especially sensitive to the toxins given off from the algae and can reduce their lung function while they are exposed to the toxins. Even though we would most likely not be swimming during red tide, the toxins are airborne, and a person can feel the effects of red tide by just being close to the ocean. Humans can also come into contact with the toxins by eating fish or shellfish that have ingested the algae.
It is best just to stay away from the ocean during red tide and the high concentration of algae until the blooms have subsided. If you need more information on this topic or any other help during this process, please feel free to contact the experts @ Siesta Title and Escrow at 941-889-7744.